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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Default PISTOL AMMUNITION

    We select ammo for three reasons:

    1). Accuracy
    2). Reliability
    3). Terminal Ballistics

    We want the ammo to be accurate. In fact ammo that is not accurate - which means it shoots up to your pistol's potential and your skill. Ammo that is reliable but inaccurate is worthless. I want to be able to hit a target the size of a man's eye at ten yards, a face at 25 yards, and a chest at 100 yards...without fail if I do my job.

    It must work in the pistol 100% of the time. If it malfunctions one round in 100 that is not a good or acceptable thing. 100 percent reliability is a factor of quality control and that will not result in "cheap ammo". Expect to pay for item 1 and item 2.

    That brings us to terminal ballistics. I have shot enough bodies and seen bodies shot to know that I want as much penetration as possible, and realistic, through clothing, medium cover, vehicle glass and intervening limbs. I also want the bullet to totally destroy as much tissue as possible once it gets into the body. I would rather not have to deal with the same adversary a few years later. As Niccolò Machiavelli wrote: “Never do your enemy a minor injury.” Again, ammo that strikes a good balance here will not be cheap.

    I prefer the Barnes TAC-XP bullet. Designed for anti-personnel use, the 100-percent copper TAC-XP™ pistol bullets maintain their original weight and track straight after being fired through intermediate barriers like car doors, plywood and automobile windshield glass. And while not advertised, through arms.

    To my knowledge there are three sources for ammo manufactured with this bullet.

    DPX-Barnes.jpg

    One is Barnes themselves. This ammo is loaded with a 9mm Luger Barnes 115gr. +P TAC-XPD bullet. This ammo is brass cased with a nickel coating, boxer primed, and non-corrosive. It comes packed in 20rd. boxes. Muzzle Velocity: 1125 fps. Cost is usually about $1.15 per round.

    DPX-BlackHills.jpg
    Two is the Black Hills 115gr. Barnes XP +P Hollow Point Ammo. This ammo has the same Barnes all copper hollow point. Rated muzzle velocity: 1250 fps (faster than the Barnes offering). Black Hills supplies all five US military branches with ammunition so their QC is top notch. It comes packed in 20rd. boxes and costs about $1.25 per round. This is my current carry load since i have run out of Corbon DPX. I have found it the equal of Corbon's ammo and a bit easier to source.

    There are a few other boutique loads available from Buffalo Bore, Asym, and Double Tap Ammo, but while these may be "just as good", I elect to go with proven sources for anti-personnel ammo.


    9mm Black Hills 115gr. Barnes XP +P Hollow Point Ammo
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    4,850
    Great points.

    Terminal ballistics. If I'm considering new ammo for a gun, I'll do my homework on different bullets. Acceptable performers go on the good to go list.

    From there I buy several brands of ammo with good to go bullets. Whatever shoots most accurately for me wins.

    I also consider recoil...generally I find I'm most accurate with whichever ammo has the least recoil.


    When I shoot, I almost always finish the session with a magazine of carry ammo.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    4
    Opinion on SPEER LE GOLD DOT G2 DUTY - 9MM - 147 GR?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by LV_MD View Post
    Opinion on SPEER LE GOLD DOT G2 DUTY - 9MM - 147 GR?

    Unless I using a suppressor, I have no need for subsonic or 147 grain ammo. The ammo you use may be great, but I prefer 115 grain stuff. 9mm depends more on speed than weight...although speed itself is not the only issue either.
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Illinois (the good part)
    Posts
    16
    Here's a bullet performance test that I've run across several times. Whether or not it's scientifically accurate, I'll let you all decide. It is an average of 5 shots, through four layers of fabric then into ballistic gel. It bears out Gabe's bullet selection, showing the Corbon DPX and the Barnes TAC-XPD +P with adequate penetration (13.9" and 13.4" respectively) and great bullet expansion to .69" and .70" respectively. If you prefer the heavier bullets or live in a free state and are running a suppressor, then the Winchester Ranger T 147 gr loads offer acceptable performance with 16.5" penetration and expansion to .74". Clicking on the small pictures of the fired bullets will enlarge them. The copper Barnes XP show nearly perfect expansion on every bullet, the lead Ranger T expands well too. I'm assuming that better expansion will equal more tissue destruction inside the body. Again, you decide if the study is done to your satisfaction, but it makes interesting reading and there are some results that surprised me. https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...tic-tests/#9mm
    Last edited by abolt243; 12-06-2017 at 08:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,010
    A further advantage to the TAC-XP is its consistent performance. It’s expansion and penetration and straight tracking are predictable. Almost every recovered bullet retains all its weight after full expansion which aids in penetration. Almost perfectly even expansion of the copper petals, as well as the length of the bullet, aids straight tracking.

    Any bullet can fail in certain conditions, but those are few and far between for the Barnes all copper. One of two things will happen: one or two expanded petals may break off, or the bullet will fail to expand and then will perform as a deep penetrating FMJ.

    Because copper is lighter (less dense) than lead, a 115 grn copper bullet is almost as long as 147 grn jacketed lead bullet. Longer bullets tend to track straighter. Because these bullets are long, they cannot be heavier and still fit in the relatively short 9mm case. The special copper, proprietary manufacturing process developed many years ago and very tight QC for both bullets and ammo make for a truly great performing load. They are designed to start expansion at just under 1000 FPS. Full expansion occurs at 1050+, but driving them too fast can either fold petals back farther and reduce expansion or break off a petal when it rebounds off the shank. Very high velocity does not usually help any pistol bullet perform better.

    There are other loads that work well, especially bonded bullets. In most cases, they are cheaper and don’t quite measure up in one or more of the critical performance areas, usually predictable consistency, weight retention and/or even expansion.

    I saw saw thousands of these bullets tested for QC and to have as give-aways at trade shows. I know of a few first hand stories of performance on humans, although very few law enforcement agencies use them because of cost. As Gabe says, these loads are reliable, accurate, penetrate well and are reasonably priced given their performance.

    CB3
    Former Business Development Manager for Barnes Bullets

    73D39B0E-CF6A-44A1-B5B7-2E8BE7F6C7B2.jpeg
    "... men and women of your armed forces America having signed a blank check to the protection of the American people and to the defense of our constitution, a check payable with their very lives, your military stands ready and confident to defend this country, this experiment in democracy.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis, 9/11/17

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    2,922
    Quote Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
    CB3
    Former Business Development Manager for Barnes Bullets
    Glad to have your expertise here!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    605
    Indeed.

    Thanks for the concise write up.

    I am looking for the right ammo
    for my 43. I am sending the slide
    in soon to SI for milling & mounting
    of the Shield. I will start looking for
    some now.

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by Yondering View Post
    Glad to have your expertise here!
    "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes" Alan Temby

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    605
    That's a great link. I have it
    book marked now. The Lucky
    Gunner crew is top shelf. I was
    able to attend a weekend shooting
    event the management held
    for their CSR's.

    Great resource.

    I see in the chart that the CD 135 gr
    +p's are on the far side for penetration,
    which is what I chose for my 17's based
    on accuracy. Anyone willing to offer thoughts
    on that ?


    John



    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...tic-tests/#9mm[/QUOTE]
    "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes" Alan Temby

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,010
    Comparing loads between manufacturers based on velocity is more meaningful when the test barrel length is specified. Be careful of apples to oranges comparisons. Shorter barrels will deliver lower velocities and may affect terminal performance depending on bullet design.

    The standard pistol test barrel length used to be 5” and many ammunition manufacturers quote velocity based on 5”.

    However, with the proliferation of concealed carry shrinking common barrel lengths to around 4” (-20%), manufacturers have had to tweak bullets for bullet performance at lower velocities.

    A full size gun, like a Glock 34 or a 1911 has 5+” barrel.

    The compacts like the G19 have 4.5” barrels.

    However, the subcompacts like the G43 and the Shield have barrels just over 3”. A 3.3” barrel is about 40% shorter than a 5.2” barrel. The bullet does not have the same acceleration time in a shorter barrel.

    When you choose ammunition for a sub-compact, terminal performance based on 5” ammunition tests may be meaningless.

    Of note, the ATG test video Gabe linked to above used a 3.1” barreled S&W Shield and got stellar results. Unfortunately, they did not chrono that load. However, the Black Hills load is able to get the bullet up to good performance velocity even from a short barrel. Everything BH loads is top shelf stuff.

    I carry the Barnes ammo because I can get it easily. It performs as well as the BH. Certain other loaders also have excellent load development and quality control, which is necessary for the TAC-XP as it takes a very different set of parameters to load well.
    "... men and women of your armed forces America having signed a blank check to the protection of the American people and to the defense of our constitution, a check payable with their very lives, your military stands ready and confident to defend this country, this experiment in democracy.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis, 9/11/17

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